This flash fiction comes from a prompt; “Reveal in the last sentence that one of the characters does not exist physically.” I hope that the message of loving the body that God gave you is in this story. We may not look the same as we did at 16, 22, or 35, but we are still worthy. “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.” -Psalm 139:13-16.
Fine lines, extra dimples, chin starting to double. Who once convinced me that I was pretty?
“I did. Plus, you look cute! I love your earrings, they accentuate your cheekbones – makes your face look symmetrical.”
Symmetrical. Not ‘pretty’ or ‘thin’. The best you can come up with is ‘symmetrical’.
“Being thin isn’t the best compliment I can give-”
It should be. That’s what I want. I want to be thin… like one of Victoria’s Angels.
“That’s unhealthy for your body type, though. You look healthy, that’s way better than being some forced idea of pretty that no one but twenty women in the world can achieve.”
It’s more than twenty women.
“Name one person who looks like an underwear model that you know – in real life.”
I’ve seen girls like that at the store before.
“Oh, stop. You have not. Anyway, even if you knew a hundred girls who looked like models, that doesn’t make you not pretty. I never said you weren’t pretty. I said that you’re-”
Symmetrical. I heard you. That’s a terrible compliment.
“I’m sorry, I meant it to be flattering. You are pretty.”
Not like a model.
“Why are you so caught up on the whole model thing!? Flowers are pretty but so are Christmas lights and they look nothing alike.”
And I’m a horse.
“Horses are still beautiful creatures. Why can’t you see yourself the way I see you?”
Maybe because I’m not wearing rose-colored glasses.
“There’s nothing hindering my sight. I see you. I see your sweet smile and the little crinkle above your nose when you look at something that makes you happy. I see the birthmark that marks you as unique and the laughter in your eyes. Well, at least I used to see laughter in your eyes. It’s still there, I think.”
You’ve not seen me in years. For a long time, there wasn’t much to laugh about. I mean, look at me. I’m… this and you’re-
“I’m what? What am I? I’m too much, aren’t I? You don’t like feeling like someone loves you. You don’t like knowing that when I look at you I see a beautiful woman. Symmetrical face and all.”
I’ve gained weight since you last saw me. Everything is a little softer, a little more stretched. I’m not even sure if I look the same at all. How you recognized me is a mystery.
“I don’t care about all that. You’re different from who you were, but that doesn’t make you any less worthy. But, isn’t it nice to see me again? Doesn’t it make you happy?”
I mean… I guess so. Yeah, I’m happy to see you. It’s just confusing.
I’m just not used to seeing you, yet. You just caught me at a weird time.
“Well, get used to it, sis. I’m here to stay. But, with me around, your attitude might start to change.”
I can only hope so. You know what?
I never expected to see self-love again.